HSN b’cast growth disappointing

HSN Inc. reported a 41% hike in operating cash flow for the second quarter, driven by increased sales at Home Shopping Network in spite of slower-than-expected growth in its broadcasting division.

HSN Inc.’s net earnings for the three months ending June 30 was $2.5 million, compared with a net loss of $2.4 million in the second quarter of 1996. HSN’s attributable EDBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the quarter climbed to $39.6 million, up from $28.1 million in 1996.

HSN officials credited the improved performance to a 10% increase in net sales for Home Shopping Network, which grew $21.6 million to $235 million, up from $213.4 million in the same period in 1996.

Revenue from HSN’s broadcasting operations, chiefly its 50% stake in the SF Broadcasting group, grew 5% to $13.5 million. HSN officials conceded the division’s performance fell below expectations.

SF Broadcasting, an HSN joint venture with Fox, owns the Fox affils in Honolulu, New Orleans, Green Bay, Wis., and Mobile, Ala. HSN chairman Barry Diller indicated the company eventually plans to sell its stake in the SF venture.

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